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Israel lobby trying to kill off BDS: Analyst

Palestinians walk past a sign painted on a wall calling to boycott Israeli products coming from settlements, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, June 5, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV has interviewed Alan Hart, a researcher and author, in London, about Israel’s plan to discuss a controversial bill to withdraw the funding of parties or the Knesset members that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: First off, give us your thoughts on this recent controversial bill.

Hart: Well, the first thing it has to be said is that the bill says the BDS is anti-Semitic, it says it is anti-Semitism in action. That is absolutely ridiculous. What BDS is is anti-Israel’s ongoing colonization of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, which is best described in my view as ongoing ethnic cleansing and it is also anti-Israel’s defiance of international law and denial of justice for the Palestinians. That is not anti-Semitism.

But let me give you a sentence of perspective. I think that Israel’s concern about BDS is because it is apart from the resistance the Palestinians are currently demonstrating. BDS is the only pressure threat to Israel because it is now obvious that President Obama has washed his hands of Palestine and he is walking away.

My evidence for saying that is his latest statement includes the fact that it is up to the parties to decide what happens. In a sense, you can translate that as Obama saying there is nothing to do.

Press TV: The Israelis are surely aware of the momentum that the BDS movement has been generating over the past few months. Surely, they are taking measures of this sort to kind of stop the momentum that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is getting worldwide.

Hart: There is no question about it. The Zionist lobby, wherever it exists, and in America in particular, is putting a great deal of energy into trying to kill off BDS. But let’s see BDS in perspective. It is a demonstration of how much more and more people around the world are loathing Israel, what it has become and what it represents.

But BDS is not going to cause Israel to change its policies unless all the governments, including the one in Washington DC, joined into it. So let’s not exaggerate the power of BDS.

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